15.10.22 → 03.12.22
Opening October 15 from 3 to 8pm
Xippas gallery is delighted to present Philippe Ramette’s sixth solo exhibition in its Parisian space.
In the same vein as his previous works, exhibited in the public space, Philippe Ramette summons his now familiar silhouette in the form of eleven new sculptures and a photograph.
A figure in bronze, a medium ideal for a faithful portrayal of the artist, but on a more restrained scale, embodies the nonetheless constructive stages and states of introspection and doubt that make up the artist’s creative process: a pathway punctuated by questioning, renunciation and conclusions. As the expression of cerebral images rather than fixed objects, the ensemble forms a scenario into which the spectator is invited to project her or himself, drawn in by the physical representations of the artist’s states of mind, and where the works also evoke the limits we all have in common.
In Eloge du déséquilibre, Eloge de l’introspection and Eloge de la déambulation (In praise of imbalance, of introspection and of wandering), the artist leans into the void with all the nonchalance implied by the titles of the works; In Eloge de l’insatisfaction (In praise of dissatisfaction) the artist’s likeness uses all its might to push back its limits: in this case, a wall. There is a certain situational irony in Sculpteur allant travailler sur le motif (Sculptor setting off to work on his subject), where the statue is carrying a stone pedestal on its back; In Eloge de la procrastination (In praise of procrastination), the sculpture, in a pose evoking an attitude of “let’s wait and see”, leans back against its pedestal.
This embodiment of the mental processes dictated by the titles results in improbable postures that are often ironic in nature and occasionally even absurd. Eloge du doute (In praise of doubt) bears witness to this with a disarticulated silhouette, where the figure is utterly overpowered and has completely lost both mental and physical control. His neck and limbs are twisted around as he attempts to “view the path already taken”, while continuing to move forward.
In Proposition de monument en l’honneur de ceux qui se trompent toujours de direction (Proposal for a monument in honour of those who always go in the wrong direction) the figure of the artist, in a posture that mixes grandiloquence and certainty, indicates the direction to be taken. Here the obvious determination of the character’s stance seems to form an ironic contradiction in relation to the somewhat melancholic title.
Finally, Pas perdu retrouvé (Lost step found again) is the imprint of a shoe cast in bronze, a step that if lost, would render a path incomplete and without which it would be impossible to pursue one’s oeuvre.
Each sculpture is characterized by the artist’s choice of stone and the variously coloured patinas, ranging from black to gold and green. They remind us of the sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries that populate the public domain, but above all they evoke a timeless creative space that lends itself to all possible forms of reactivation.
The new photograph Allégorie de la creation (Allegory of creation) attests to the reactivation of a principle found in Philippe Ramette’s early works, namely the employment of prosthetic objects by the artist-cum-model. To create this image, the artist used a sculpture (presented in this exhibition as an object) of a kind of watering can-helmet made of brass. This object is in line with a body of the artist’s work, Objets à réflexions, a play on words in French indicating the reflective nature of the materials used and the fact that they provide food for mediation or reflexion.
Philippe Ramette poses for the photograph with the watering can perched on his head, and a landscape typical of the south of France in the background. The staging of this photograph, with its protagonist-artist, suggests a possible use for this object-sculpture as a receptacle for ideas, intuitive insights and even divine emanations. The wearing of this object might just permit us to filter the fruit of this gathering, and possibly even come up with an oeuvre ourselves.